Sept. 24 (UPI) -- Boeing said it will begin dispensing $50 million in immediate financial assistance to the families of nearly 350 people who died in two crashes of the 737 Max 8, in Indonesia and Ethiopia.
The company said Monday the money will come from the Boeing Financial Assistance Fund, which consists of $100 million pledged by the aviation giant in July "to address family and community needs of those affected by the tragedies."
The remaining $50 million, Boeing said, will support education and economic empowerment in communities impacted by the crashes of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 that killed 346 passengers and crew.
The money equals about $144,000 per family -- which Nomaan Husain, an attorney representing 15 of the families, said "doesn't come close to compensating" the families.
"This is not something that is going to satisfy the families," he said. "The families really want answers."
The cause of the accidents has been blamed on a malfunctioning stall-prevention system. Boeing is working on a software fix and the Federal Aviation Administration must approve the repair before the Max 8 and Max 9 can return to service.
Boeing President and CEO Dennis Muilenburg said Monday the tragedies "weigh heavily" upon the company.
"The opening of this fund is an important step in our efforts to help affected families," he said.